After two plus years, I’m finally hanging curtains. Breathe people, I haven’t been your neighborhood voyeur for 24 months. I’ve kept my modesty, my dignity and my name out of the papers by keeping the blinds appropriately closed. And with just one or two minor mishaps, wardrobe malfunctions if you will, I have kept a solid rep with the people next door. I think. I hope. No, I don’t care.
But I’m hanging curtains now. And I wonder why it’s taken me so long to do it. And I also wonder why my new curtains have given my tiny house a ‘finished’ look. And with this big brain of mine I wonder why I’m wondering why and secretly hoping that this doesn’t cause a major mind fuck that leaves me pondering curtains and houses and life in general for days.
No matter. I’m going to try and sort this thing out here and now. You’re along for the ride. Buckle up babies…we’re going in-depth.
The simple act of hanging curtains is not so easy. I’ve been in this house for over two years. I’ve had these curtains for a month. I’ve had the curtain rods since last night. I have a hammer and a step stool (#shortgirlproblems). And yet, I am only half way done hanging five lousy curtains. I suppose I could count the one I simply replaced and say I’m 60% done with curtain hanging…but blogs are supposed to be about laying bare of one’s self and to hedge or fudge the numbers just doesn’t seem right. Hence, I’m only half way done.
And it’s not that I don’t like these curtains. They are exactly what I wanted. They fit perfectly. They’re my taste, my color and my style. And yet here I am, talking about hanging curtains when I should be actually, you know, hanging the damn curtains.
Hanging curtains is hard. There’s measuring and pounding of nails and all kinds of shit. I suppose a level should be involved if only I gave a damn whether they hung straight or slightly a-tilt. So there’s the mechanics of hanging curtains that’s bringing me down. I’m not good at the hammer and nails. I don’t have the patience to measure and level and be precise. I just want to hang a dumb curtain…or five.
So I guess in a way hanging a curtain is something of a barometer or measure of my ability to live a self-sustaining life. You may think of it as a stretch but try and remember the last time you hung a curtain. Now think of whether or not you had any help. Now in the interest of full disclosure, I admit to having the daughter hold one end of the curtain rod while I hinged the other into the thingy I nailed into the wall. Crooked. Without any manner of style or command of a hammer. But putting her small and totally unenthusiastic assistance aside, however appreciated by a grateful mom, I did it…am continuing to do it…by myself. And that’s a metaphor of my life.
In the last few years, I’ve taken on so many new challenges and conquered so many new obstacles. I know there were people who were waiting for me to fail. Waiting for me to admit defeat and with bags in hand and pride in a dumpster, see me at my lowest. To date, that hasn’t happened. Close calls sure, but I’ve fought and learned and have kept afloat. So I guess hanging curtains is a good sign that I’m going to be okay. It’s my way of thumbing my nose at my critics, few that there are, and maybe even giving them the one finger salute. Like a “fuck you! I’ve hung curtains! Take that, you rat bastards!” kind a moment that makes me feel both proud and a little embarrassed at the same time. Rat bastards, really who says that?!?
So getting past the actual physical part of the hanging of the curtains, which I’ve yet to fully conquer but admittedly am well on my way to doing, what does hanging curtains mean? What does it symbolize? In a house, curtains seem to be the finishing touch. You buy a house and you’re so busy with the big picture of financing and insurance and taxes and then there’s the issue of where is the garage door opener and the seal is broken on this window so where’s the lifetime guarantee papers. You’re up to your ass in boxes and you can’t find your favorite sweater let alone a spatula to turn the eggs. You in a spiral of trying to hold your house together while at the same time you’re trying to hold yourself together. Curtains are the last thing you think about. You’re just glad you have windows! So maybe once your head stops spinning and you’ve gotten some of your bearings, the little details begin to matter. Like curtains. Its life’s way of saying, ‘look at you! You’ve got your shit together for the most part. Now for the detail work.” Curtains are the minor details of life. Not necessarily permanent, but definitely a sign that you’re getting there. Curtains tell you that you’ve made it this far and the odds are ‘ever in your favor’.
I’m pretty damn proud of these curtains. When I walk into the room, I’m drawn to them. They give me a sense of accomplishment and a sense of badass that I’m a walking success story. I feel good that I did this little home project myself even if I did have some help and even with that help I am still not finished. And they really make the room look nice.
And maybe I’ll hang one more curtain and call it a day. Maybe I’ll leave this last one, the one where I nailed the damn hook thing crooked and the angle is just all wrong for a left handed novice of hammering such as myself. I’ll leave it as a reminder that yes, I’ve come a long way; but I’m nowhere near done yet!
Hang (your curtains) in there kittens!